In the past two years, workplace transformed for employees as the world began fighting with the Covid-19 pandemic. Work functioning had to be amended and all that everyone could do was accept the changes and adapt to them. With the reduction of office distance from some miles to only a stretch of the arm towards the laptop, it is safe to say that one way or another, everyone adjusted to working from home in their own unique manner. Research has proven that on average, it takes approximately 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic (James Clear, 2020). In other words, it takes us two months to form a habit, and just like we struggled with shifting the office to our homes, we are soon going to be struggling with taking the office out of our homes as well.
To cope with the mental impact of this shift on the employees and to ensure physical safety regarding the contraction of Covid-19, it is essential to make this transition gradual and not abrupt. Surveys from countries that are in Covid-19 recovery phase show that it will be difficult to shift to pre-covid working habits from remote working for sometime as the employees will again need to alter their performance methods (Baig et al., 2020). It is important to avoid the anxiety and stress which was imposed on the majority of working individuals with the abruptness of the first wave of Covid-19 as there was hardly any time to process, much less adjust to the new working conditions. Therefore, as we go back to work, the employees should be allowed to cope with the change without any rush so that they can work efficiently by simultaneously maintaining their mental wellness. Keeping this in mind, many companies are becoming more open to flexible working and are encouraging employees to work from home in long-term either for a few days each week, or even implementing the provision of the option of performing 100% of the job at home for those employees that don’t necessarily need to be present in the office (Courtney, 2021). Along with being considerate towards their mental health, the employer should make sure that all of the staff is vaccinated and proper precautions are being taken in the office such as physical distancing, face masks, and the usage of hand sanitizers.
Expect a shift in perspective
There is to be a definite shift in our lifestyles so perhaps it needs to be accompanied by a shift in our perspectives as well. By exposing ourselves to the post-pandemic life at a healthy pace where it doesn’t get overwhelming, we can return to our pre-covid lives with all its perks and perhaps an upgrade too. Let us head back to work whilst following the precautions naturally until they become a habit and adapting to everything bit by bit, because it is going to take just 66 days for this to become the new normal.
J Clear. (2014, October). How long does it take to form a Habit? Backed by science. The Huffington Post https://jamesclear.com/new-habit.
Baig, A., Hall, B., Jenkins, P., Lamarre, E., & McCarthy, B. (2020). The COVID-19 recovery will be digital a plan for the first … McKinsey and Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Business%20Functions/McKinsey%20Digital/Our%20Insights/The%20COVID%2019%20recovery%20will%20be%20digital%20A%20plan%20for%20the%20first%2090%20days/The-COVID-19-recovery-will-be-digital-A-plan-for-the-first-90-days-vF.pdf
Courtney, E. (2021, July 7). 30 Companies Switching to Long-Term Remote Work [web log]. https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/companies-switching-remote-work-long-term/.
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